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Rough Rock
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When I was eight years old, my mom got me a “Rock Tumbler.” The machine came with a bag full of ugly, rough, sharp rocks, and a bag full of sand. The idea was to dump the rocks and sand and some water into the machine, plug it in and let it rumble and tumble for about 24 hours. After that time, I opened the lid and was amazed to find beautiful, polished, fabulous rocks that I could use for various crafts.

As a new Christian, I thought that’s what the process of sanctification, or becoming like Christ, was like. I’d have some magic dust sprinkled over me, say a few prayers, and within a short period of time, I’d be more like Him. Didn’t God tell us to “be holy, because I am holy?” (Leviticus 11:45). It sounded like a pretty straightforward undertaking.


Twenty-five years later, I still say hurtful things to my husband, I still lose my temper with my kids, I still talk behind people’s backs, I still have thoughts that should stand my hair on end. But what I’ve learned is that it’s a process. I love the word Paul uses in 2 Corinthians 3:18:  “And we… are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory…”  Transformed—now that is a word I can get my head around.

Rather than being like a stone in the “Rock Tumbler” which was quickly changed, I think I’m more like a stone that will spend years and years being tossed around in a river. That river’s water is sometimes trickling, but sometimes roaring past. I’m thrown around by the experiences of life and sometimes gets knocked up against other stones or fallen branches or caught in weeds. But with every movement, I become smoother. With every failure and success, an edge is softened. With each trial, I become more like that most precious of gems.

My prayer is that one day, when the Lord reaches down to bring me to his side, he will find that “I am just a little smoother in [His] hand.”1

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

 1 "River God" from the album Wide Eyed by Nichole Nordeman.

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